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  • Supply chain gearing up to ship new MacBook Pro

    blastdoor said:
    While the notion of 3nm M2 Pro/Max now seems highly unlikely, I wonder if they might be fabbed on 4nm (like the A16)?

    TSMC's 4nm process is a refinement of the 5nm. I believe it uses the same design rules as 5nm, which means that Apple need not change the design of the CPU and GPU cores in the 5nm M2 for use in a 4nm M2 Pro/Max. 
    I don’t think there is much difference between N5P and N4. Apple will be able to eek out 10% to 20% performance gains from either just as they did between M1 to M2 or A15 to A16. 

    Apple does need to fix the poor GPU core scaling in their SoCs. Perhaps it is a memory controller issue, whatever it is, it needs to be fixed. That’s probably the number 1 thing they needed to have worked on over the past 2 years. 
  • iOS 16's Clean Energy Charging arriving later in 2022

     It is unclear exactly how iOS would be able to know when "cleaner energy sources" are being used, but it is likely checking in with Apple's servers to determine the grid's status. It will also be limited only to the United States, which suggests there is some data sourcing at play.
    Apple just asks the grid operator for their realtime power mix and their future power prediction, by type. The rest is having the phone calling their server for optimal charging times. The data is public and you can check it yourself, of if you are good at HTML parsing, you can continuously crawl for the data if wanted.
    The grid operator definitely knows what power source is energizing the grid on an hour by hour basis, at least, if not minute by minute basis. If you live in Texas ERCOT, the best time to charge is from 2 am to 6 am or so, when wind power is about 20% to 50% of grid, on average and depending on time of year. In a few years, it's going to be something like 30% to 70% wind at those hours, with solar+wind creeping towards 20% to 50% during the day.

  • WaterField Designs debuts two new holster cases for iPhone 14

    These look more like fanny packs than phone holsters. Tough sell.
  • Apple introduces iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus -- with satellite connectivity

    sirbryan said:
    Many commenters seem to assume that satellite signals can be had anywhere, anytime, globally.

    Typically communications satellites are geosynchronous; they appear stationary to us from the ground. This way the uplink stations don't have to have directional tracking antennas. Most TV, telephone, and Internet systems are this way (think Dish Network, DirecTV, HugesNet, ViaSat, etc.).  Even my Starlink dish stays pointing in one direction, even though their satellites are much closer in Low Earth Orbit.

    If you don't have a bird (satellite) covering a particular country, that service won't work in that place.

    Some providers may have birds moving in non-geosynchronous orbits (i.e. north-south or at various sloping angles, faster or slower than the earth spins, etc.), so in those cases, you'd have a store-and-forward messaging system. SpaceX alluded to this being the case for how their collaboration with T-Mobile might work. In that case, while their service could technically work anywhere in the world, they're beholden to regulatory bodies when transmitting on licensed frequencies in International air space.  And again, the birds need to communicate with the ground at some point to pass the messages on.
    This type of service, satellite phone service, is provided by a 50 to 100+ satellites in a low Earth orbit. GlobalStar, Irridium, et al. GPS, GLONASS same way but their signaling is one-way. About 200 to 500 miles above the surface of the Earth, in a multitude of orbits from polar to equatorial. Geosynchronous satellites are 22,000 miles above the surface of the Earth in equatorial orbits. 22k miles will be a challenge for something the size of a phone. 200 to 2000 miles, much more reasonable for something the size of a cell phone, which is amply demonstrated by the satellite phones in existence for 2 decades now.

    The key regulatory bottleneck for this type of service will be in the ground relay stations that take the satellite signals and relay to a mobile service and go to emergency services. Notionally, a government can say that the satellite provider is prohibited from using the spectrum utilized by the service, but that is like saying people are prohibited from using light. They can regulate the relay stations and the relay spectrum, so a message won't be serviced inside the country. That message however will go to wherever their are relay stations and forwarded to the destination/client.

    I'm still unsure of a message going between satellite clients: sat phone to sat phone. Apple will have to pay for such a service from the satellite provider, so, it isn't going to be free. I can see SOS and Find My being free for iPhone buyers, but 2-way comm, no way.
  • Apple introduces iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus -- with satellite connectivity

    tht said:
    dutchlord said:
    The satellite texting feature is easy enough to deploy across North America because the US and Canada have no restrictions on free speech, but I doubt that it will ever be deployed across Asia or the Middle East because it's outside the reach of the "Great IT Wall" that many countries have built. It would bypass government control on communications. Since satellites cannot pinpoint which side of a border you are on, they can't respect the wishes of dictators to block data from their countries. And since Apple is paying for the service, it is Apple who would get in trouble with the dictatorships.

    Unless perhaps the satellite texting capability does not support iMessage, and the satellite data is all unencrypted for the world to see. Then maybe dictatorships won't object. But if so, then Apple seems to be contradicting its oft-stated belief that "privacy is a fundamental human right." This will get harder to defend as the size of the satellite text messages increase over the next ten years, because Apple will find itself under pressure to encrypt those messages.
    I don’t think text messaging like
    in imessage is possible. Only contacting emergency response people. 
    And its only available in the US/Canada.
    Your statement that text messaging is not possible seems incorrect, because in the Apple keynote, the satellite app displays the phrase "opening Messages" (the app) and then you can see text bubbles that look (and sound!) exactly like the Messages app in iOS. Except that the outgoing chat bubbles are grey. So I infer from the video that text messages are allowed. But I don't know how it works yet.
    Apple's livestream announcement said that it uses custom text compression along with canned responses. If the phone has good line of sight to a satellite, a text message will take on order minutes. If the phone doesn't have good line of sight, it could take on order tens of minutes to hours.

    The canned messages obviously doesn't send the actual message, like sound and the actual text. It's just some minimum bit-depth number, the code, and when a phone receives it, it will play the canned response for that code that's already on the receiver phone.

    And, it will also send GPS coordinates as one of those canned responses. That's just 3 numbers, possibly 4: time, latitude, longitude, and maybe altitude.

    As for why it is in USA and Canada first, it's likely because Apple has gotten approvals for this type of functionality from these countries first, including the relay stations for the signal, and Apple can advertise the full service, like rescue crews. This is pretty standard operating procedure for an USA company. It will make it to other countries eventually assuming they have the relay stations and rescue crews, including China, and even Russia if the sanctions are lifted, which looks to be no time soon. I don't know what those countries are going to do about it though. It's satellite. The only thing lacking would be the rescue response and the accordant local relays, but the data transmission should work. Apple and the satellite company would have to have a GPS, feo-fence filter on it to prevent it from working.

    Each GPS number will require about 7-8 decimal digits, right? Eg, "123.4567,234.5678,345.6789,456.7890". That's an awful lot of data, which you can't compress bitwise because it's random/real number data. Are you saying that this service won't function at all if your iPhone doesn't have your GPS location, such as what might happen if you are stuck between two big rocks? Or are you saying that GPS is optional? It would be a horrible shame if GPS was mandatory, because sometimes the location of the victim is already known from other sources, and adding that much unneeded data to a message before it can be sent could block the message.

    You seemed to have no comment on my main concern, which is that the service bypasses the Great Firewalls of many countries, and therefore it would be prohibited. As we can see from the Apple keynote, users can type messages in a free format, which is exactly what dictatorships don't want to see.
    It's going to be 24 to 32 bit binary numbers, not actual text strings. It will need to have GPS to even have shot of a rescue crew finding you, and GPS works without cell signals. If you had a map app with a map on the device, not downloaded, a phone will show you where you are on the map, even without cell signals, because GPS is separate from cell signals. GPS is satellite, just one way. The iPhone 14 satellite feature can send data using a different set of satellites, just at hyper low data rates.

    The GPS coordinates need to be at least in the 6th decimal place to have a shot of locating you within a few hundred feet. So, it has to be something like 24 bit sized words or larger.

    The SOS feature is satellite. It will work anywhere in the world as long as you have satellite line of sight. Work as in you could send a really short message anywhere in the world. The rescue services however, well, that requires some coordinate and approvals from governments, just like selling a phone with this or that feature being regulated. I don't see any reason whatsoever for why any country on the planet would find this feature bad, as you aren't going to be carrying a conversation with it. Some people are irrational and may not approve the feature, but that's really not that different from any other feature on the phone. They are all subject to this or that regulation.